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Our investigations for this season have been focused on Temples XIV in the Cross Group and Temples XIX and XX of the adjoining Southern Acropolis. (Click here for map.)
The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the individual structures, and, in some cases, structures buried beneath them.
We continue to investigate underground voids revealed by high-technology Ground Penetrating Radar testing.
The new season got off to a great start. We spent most of January building protective roofs over our operations. In the first weeks of actual archaeology we discovered a precolumbian cut in Structure XX, with the possibility of a cultural deposit. And then a new hieroglyphic text was found on the stairs of Temple XIX.
As reported last season, the Southern Acropolis is an area heavily overgrown by jungle. Temple XIX (also referred to as Structure XIX) was selected for excavation because of its excellent state of preservation and because it had not been previously excavated.
Originally, the roof of Structure XIX was double vaulted across the front and rear galleries of the structure; and the interior ends of the vaults were supported by central support piers placed horizontally across the center of the structure. The absence of wall stones in the rubble near the rear of the structure and the almost vertical alignment of vault stones found in the rubble indicate that the back wall of the superstructure fell outwards to the north, and that the rear vault pivoted on the still-standing central pier support as it fell.
Remnants of ceiling and vault plaster in the rubble demonstrate that the vaults were stepped, with each horizontal row of vault stones protruding slightly from the row below.
more photos in Archive